This article analyses trade union frames in the context of general strikes in Spain from the late 1970s to 2017. General strikes are critical communicative events for trade unions, in which the way the unions frame their demands and public campaigns reflects the key elements of their strategies. The study of framing in relation to general strikes by the largest union confederation in Spain provides new insights into the capacity of trade unions to adapt to a rapidly changing socioeconomic and political context and, more specifically, to use public discourse as an important element in their revitalization strategy. In contrast with the widespread perception of trade union immobilism, the analysis shows continuity in claims such as job creation, a good public social protection system and the trade unions’ political role, but also changes such as the passage from workerism to citizenism, and from demanding full employment to denouncing precariousness.
- labour movement
- trade unions